It begins in innocence. “You’re pregnant; that’s so exciting!” I smile and nod, glowing with that pregnant and slightly nauseous look I just can’t shake. The conversation moves to the baby’s sex, the due date, and have we decided on a name? And then it happens… the conversation nosedives into the deep terrain that stinks of judgment and antagonism. “Have you thought about how you’ll deliver the baby?” Or my personal favorite, “Do you have a birth plan?”
Anyone who has already delivered a child knows that these are pretty baseless questions. I have yet to hear of a person whose birth went all according to plan. Which is why I normally nod it off when the question is asked by someone who’s never had a child. How would they know? But it’s the folks who have delivered children you have to watch out for. Because I’ve noticed that for many of them, ulterior motives are in full force.
For whatever reason (usually it’s because they’ve had a natural birth themselves and haven’t had enough opportunities to share their story), some have made it their mission to make other people strive for this “going natural” goal. But aside from bragging rights, I’m not sure what their motives are. Is this some new pyramid-scheme I haven’t yet heard about? Will I be getting a Facebook invite tomorrow to buy birthing aromatherapy or breathing tapes?
I’m tired of people asking me about how I plan to deliver my baby. First of all, why do you need a visual for how this will go? Second of all, I’m not going to tell you what you want to hear. You want to hear about my Lamaze and my Kegel exercise routine. The fact is I want an epidural. And when I tell you this, the mood shifts with a jolt and you look at me with a mixed look of disgust, disappointment, and sympathy. “Oh, I see” you say, oozing with condescension. “Have you considered natural alternatives?” And here’s where you really get me: “You know, your body was made for this. You should embrace it.”